Throwback Thursday: 2017 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Favorites

It’s here! Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival begins today! I love the different festivals at Epcot for various reasons, but Food & Wine will always be a favorite. The park offers food and drink tastings, speciality paring classes, cooking classes and meet and greets with famous Chefs, concerts, and so much more during the festival!

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So…why do I love this festival so much? Have you seen the concert line-up? The Eat To The Beat Concert series offers something for everyone and their taste of music. But, y’all lets be honest….HANSON is a fan favorite that comes to the Festival annually and my inner 13 year old LOVES it! Helihubby not so much.

Since it starts today we figured sharing some of our favorite finds of 2017 would be a fun way to celebrate Throwback Thursday and the kick-off of the 2018 festival! Join us as we eat and drink around the world!

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Epcot is one of three Walt Disney World Parks that guests can walk around the park with an adult beverage in hand. {This might be the main reason it’s the favorite park for us Newly Newlyweds.} Grab a cocktail and make your way eating and drinking around the world, exploring different countries, their rides and little hidden gems! During the Food and Wine Festival, Epcot adds additional countries and speciality spots throughout the park for guests to have even more dining options. What a great opportunity for people to taste samplings of dishes that may night otherwise have a chance to try!

Take a look at our favorite eats and drinks from the 2017 Festival!

Spain– Traditional Spanish Paella served with Shrimp, Mussels, Chicken and Chorizo img_1857.jpeg

France– La Passion Martini Slush a mix of vodka, Grey Goose Le Citron Vodka, Cranberry and Passion Fruit juiceIMG_1927.JPG

The Chocolate Studio– Gluten Free Liquid Nitro Chocolate-Almond Truffle with warm whiskey-caramel and a glass of Justin Cabernet SauvignonIMG_3582.JPG

Earth Eats!– Grilled Beef Skewer with Romaine, Apricots and FetaIMG_3581.JPG

Hops & BarleyHanson Brothers Beer Company Hop Jam Festive Ale and New England Lobster Roll: Warm Lobster with Fresh Herb Mayonnaise and Griddled RollIMG_3599.JPG

Greece– Spanakopita: Greek Spinach Pie {This was super tasty!} IMG_3580.JPG

Morocco– Chocolate Baklava: Rolled Phyllo Dough with Toasted Almonds and Dark Chocolate Sauce {This was my FAVORITE snack of the 2017 Festival and YES they have it again in 2018!} IMG_3598.JPG

Ahhh! Are you hungry now? We are and can not wait to arrive back at Epcot next week! Are you heading to the Festival?

What are you most looking forward to trying this year? It’s not on our Whole30 plan (which we are trying to stick to since we are running the Food & Wine 10k in November) but we will be trying the Belgian Waffle with Warm Chocolate Ganache and Whipped Cream from Belgium, Le Cellier’s Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle-Butter Sauce from Canada and Florida Beer Company Passport Triple Chocolate Milk Stout from Cape Canaveral, FL from Craft Drafts. YUMMM!

Let the countdown to our return to the Happiest (and tastiest) Place On Earth begin!

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See You Real Soon!

We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers Y’all!

Adam & Holly, but mostly Holly

PS: Remember, we’re newlyweds, not experts! {and Go Stros!}

 

Throwback Thursday: Girls Weekend in the Great State

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Unless your a resident of the Lone Star State, I have a inkling you’ve not. Fun Fact! Fredericksburg is the 5th largest wine producer in the US! Cheers y’all!

Last weekend Aunt Tina and I surprised Mom with {another} 60th Birthday Celebration! She knew she was heading to the GREAT STATE with two of her favorite people, but little did she know all the surprises we had in store!

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We told her to pack her bags- we were heading to Texas! Friday morning we were wheels up for Texas, flying from Atlanta to San Antonio. We picked up our rental car and I played Uber driver for our 57 mile commute to our VRBO rental in Kerrville. (About 25 minutes from downtown Fredericksburg.) Mom just couldn’t wrap her head around WHY we had to rent a house if it was just the three of us. Even though we told her it was cheaper than staying in town and probably a lot nicer than the local Holiday Express Motel.

This home was stunning y’all and Erin, the owner, was fantastic to work with. The house was updated and the views were spectacular- the rolling Texas hills made us feel like we were up in the hills of Hollywood. The Master Bathroom had a walk-in shower with three, yes THREE, shower heads! Don’t get me started on the backyard with the fire pit, outdoor kitchen and  infinity pool- absolutely breathtaking y’all! Highly recommend this property if you’re heading to Fredericksburg for any occasion! Wish we could have spent more time there!

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The real reason we needed a larger house? It was not going to be just the three of us spending the weekend together hopping around tasting wine. We were spending the weekend with a few of our favorite Texas women- sorority sisters, family, friends from fifth grade and friends that are like family! SURPRISE TG!

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Friday Night was spent with guests arriving sporadically surprising Mom. Catching up, laughing like school girls and of course cheers-ing to our Birthday Girl!

Saturday we got up bright and early to hit the Texas Wine Trail! We used The 290 Wine Shuttle Company, which was fantastic! They charter guests around to 13 local wineries for a very reasonable fee. It was so nice not having to worry about calling an Uber or having a one of the girls miss the fun and play Designated Driver.

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We started at Barons Creek for a quick tasting of five or six varieties.

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They have a huge tasting room, complete with multiple private rooms, a lovely back garden space and gift shop. The Viognier was one of our favorites from the tasting- it has ripe apricot and delicate lemon zest flavors combination in this delicious Texas Viognier. This wine has a long, creamy finish. It’s a fantastic companion for shrimp or lobster with butter sauce.

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Mom also really enjoyed their Muscat Canelli, a deliciously sweet and balanced wine bursting with flavors of peach, honeydew and a hint of grapefruit. It is a perfect aperitif on a warm day but you can also pair it with fruit salad or Thai cuisine. That has her name all over it!

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From Barons Creek we had a short wait for the 290 Bus and headed to Grape Creek: The Tuscany of the South.

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Grape Creek is a local favorite. The property was beautiful! You really did feel like you were in Tuscany! The tasting area was VERY crowded and on weekends they do limit the number of guests per tasting groups. This vineyard was highly recommend, so we broke into small groups for tasting prior to our arrival. Our tasting experience was ok. Our guide was not full of that Southern Texas hospitality until I decide to sign up for their Wine Club. We had to wait over an over an our for a tasting, their restaurant was packed and the check-in station seemed a little frazzled and not able to give us real information the wait time, availability, etc. I wish the customer service experience as a little different because the wine was quite good. We ended up finding a spot to sit and share a bottle and a stunningly delicious charcuterie board together before heading to our final stop of the day.

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Our third winery was Fat Ass.

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Our favorite for the atmosphere! {With a name like Fat Ass, how could it not?}  It was such fun y’all! Very laid back, low key environment with a live band. So, so much fun! Their wine supply was down when we were there, but they make a wine slushy that went down way too easily! A perfect drink for Summer days. Definitely plan to stop by Fat Ass when you head to the Texas Wine Country! We had the best time!

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Whew! Feeling wined-up yet? Hang on and pop over next week for our Travel Tuesday series when we wrap up our weekend in the Wine Country!

We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers Y’all!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re newlyweds, not experts!

FaLaLaLa Fett’s Countdown to Christmas “Not So Silent Night”

Day Seven is for “Not So Silent Night.”

All is not calm, all is bright on our Tacky Sweater Night!

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The FaLaLaLa Fett’s Tacky Sweater Party has become an annual tradition with our friends near and far. SLUSH, Snowmen, Sparkles, oh my! Glitter, Buttons, bows or vest, we tell our friends to come in their tackiest!

Slush is a must for this soirée. I put my Sandra Lee skills to the test, to make my tablescape look the best! RenderedImage-1.jpeg

Our Guestroom’s are booked, well in advance. There’s no reason to make Santa’s Naughty List! IMG_6960

We love starting the holiday season with all our friends that are like our family. The night is filled with fun, frivolity and lots of laughs. We never know just how the night will go or exactly who might show!

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This years party was quite a success. It was difficult to pick just who was the tackiest!

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Another FaLaLaLaFett Holiday Tradition in the books! What are your thoughts on a Tacky Christmas Sweater Party? Do you host one for your family and friends? Share your party ideas with us!

We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers and Merry Christmas!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re newlyweds, not experts!

FaLaLaLa Fett’s Countdown To Christmas

The Christmas Holiday Season is my absolute most favorite time of the year. Maybe it’s the chill in the air, the joyous smiles radiating from everyone’s faces or the fact that I’m an {almost} Christmas Baby. Christmas has always been my favorite. Always.

We had all intentions of beginning our Christmas Countdown on Wednesday, but alas…here we are on Sunday, eight days to go until the Big Man shows and I am just sitting down to write this post.

So lets begin by backing up a few days and get caught up on our countdown.

Day 12 is for Traditions.

One of my {our} favorite Christmas Traditions began our first year of marriage. Christmas is a wonderful time- cheerful, full of family and lots of love, but it can also be a stressful time- I am sure you can all relate. Running from home to home visiting family, shopping and wrapping until the last minute, Christmas parties, are you tired yet?

Our first Christmas Adam and I were with my parents in Peachtree City. We spent the night on Christmas Eve at their house, woke up to gifts from Santa, followed by our usual Christmas Brunch. We packed up in our PJs, headed back to Atlanta to FaceTime with Adam’s Family from Michigan, change, have supper and meet up with his family that is local to Atlanta. Long story short…things didn’t quite go as planned. By the time we got back to our house in Atlanta making a fancy Christmas meal was not in the cards. Everything was closed and all we had was a Frozen Pizza, which is exactly what we had. Frozen Pizza on our Kate Spade China. Classy! Our brand of choice? Screamin’ Sicilian.

Three years later it is one of the things we both look forward to. It’s our time to enjoy the holiday together – just the two of us. Don’t get us wrong, we love spending time with our families and taking part in all the holiday fun, but there is something so comforting in spending time together, relaxing and enjoying the Christmas night just us two {for now anyways.}

This year the pizza is already in the freezer and depending on how our Annual Tacky Sweater Party goes we will hopefully have some Slush to go with it!

Does your family have a holiday tradition? Share your favorites with us!

PS: Wouldn’t you know after all these years I don’t have one single photo of our Christmas suppers?

Day 11 is for Elves. 

Before “Elf On The Shelf” was a thing…I had a Elf. He stayed at my Grandparents- Honna and Grandaddy’s-  House. I don’t remember his name or what his “powers” were, but I remember him having a little felt outfit, hat and shoes. He was a special Elf that us kids could not touch unless we had permission. He typically sat on the fireplace mantle and watched our every move. IMG_6531.jpg

Another Christmas tradition that Adam and I now have incorporated into our holiday season is our visiting Elf, Dewey. Dewey is a joyful, energetic, full of life Christmas Elf that makes his way to the FaLaLaLa Fett’s on December 1st. He helps us countdown to Christmas by bringing holiday surprises, planning Christmas themed Dates and of course sending reports to Santa. Why should kids have all the fun? It’s so fun having a little Christmas Spirit in the house and see just what tricks and treats Dewey has up his sleeve!

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Does your family have an Elf or two roaming around this holiday season? Tell us all about him or her! Are they as tricky and mischievous as Dewey?

Day 10 is for the Perfect Christmas Tree. 

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If you’ve followed us the last 3+ years, you may have seen our previous posts about our Christmas Trees. Yes, you read that correctly. We have multiple trees at Christmas.

I grew up with 6 artificial Christmas Trees. Each one had it’s own theme- from Gingerbread to Barbie and the Great State of Texas to Sports for my brother Joey. Six different rooms in my childhood home was home to a tree at Christmas time.

Adam on the other hand, well….thats where our story about the “Perfect Christmas Tree” comes into play. He grew up with a Fraser Fur Tree. His family would go out to a local farm in Michigan, cut down their tree and haul it home. Well friends…that is us. The FaLaLaLa Fett’s turn Griswold Family Christmas.

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Photo credits: www.rainforestislandsferry.com

We can’t just drive a half mile down the road to our big box home store or a mile to the nearest local Christmas Tree lot, instead we take a little 3 hour tour to North Carolina. The closest place to Atlanta where Fraser Fur trees are grown.

Are we sounding more like the Griswold’s now?

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Photo Credits: http://www.people.com

The two of us pack up the car, drop Samson off at his Tonna and Buddy’s and hit the road for North Carolina around the first weekend of December. Our first Christmas we went up to the Highlands, while the last two years we made the trip to Asheville.

What an ordeal it is! Adam is SO picky. My only requirement is the tree be skinny to fit in a particular spot in our little condo. Adam on the other hand…oh lord…let’s just say our tree hunt ends up with a few good laughs and a great topic to remission on for the next year.

He spends hours looking up the farms in the area- scoping out prices and reviews. Then once we get there we drive from farm to farm, in and out of the car, up and down the mountains of North Carolina to find the perfect tree.

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It can’t have holes of any kind. The needles can’t be droopy or have any dead spots. It can’t be too short. It can’t…it can’t…it can’t… The man’s list goes on and on. By the time we find out tree, Adam cuts it down using an old fashion saw and we get our picture with her, there is normally mud on his jeans, sweat dripping from his forehead, and me…there just “cheering” him on.  {Of course you would never know any of this by the looks of our pictures! HA! HA!}

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This year we came across the true spirit of Christmas and restored our faith in humanity a bit while on the hunt for our tree. We had already visited two other farms in Asheville. The first one didn’t allow us to cut down our tree, the second had extremely over priced {to the tune of $200+} for a tree the size we needed and by the time we pulled up to our third farm without a tree it was just about closing time.

The owner greeted us at our car, asked what we were looking for and said, “Come on. It’s just me, but I’d be happy to show you what I have.”

It was after looking around a bit and finding a tree we realized he only took cash or checks, something neither of us had with us. The Farm owner said not to worry about it and send him a check when we got home!

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Y’all, is that not the BEST story? In the world we live in today you rarely come across someone that would have faith and trust in a total stranger like that. Just goes to show there is still kindness in the world and by sharing it with others, we can all make the world a happier place to call home.

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Are you a real or artificial tree fan? How many trees does your family have? Tell us your stories!

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Day Nine is for Nostalgic. 

Is there something that is now part of your Christmas that you had growing up? Perhaps an artificial tree? An “Elf on the Shelf”? Or even the tradition of cutting down your own family tree?

In our home we have slush. Ah, the Famous Fett Family Slush.

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{Well, that is what our friends call, but it actually started on Adam’s Mom’s side of the family.}

Growing up Adam’s family always had Slush at Holiday Parties. There was “Fun Slush” for the Adults and “Kids Slush” for the kids…if you catch my drift. {wink wink} Think of an ice cold frozen Slurpie from your local Seven-Eleven, but BETTER!

Adam tells stories of his Grandma Yonker making it every year. Green was for kids and red was for the adults. There’s a secret to making it and let me tell you people…its a sneaky, sneaky drink. If Slush is invited, there will be no Grinches at our parties!

The FaLaLaLa Fett’s have incorporated it into our Christmas celebrations. Every year we host a Tacky Christmas Sweater Party and the Slush is a staple. Our friends talk about it all year- those that have come in years past tell the new comers all about it. Everyone is warned early on. Uber to the party the Slush will get you!

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We always get asked, “What’s in this? How can we make this? Can we have it at all your parties?”

Until last year Adam would NEVER give out the recipe for Slush. Sort of like my Strawberry Cake. It’s a Family Recipe, you don’t just give those out.

{Ah, but when you do you, don’t ever give out the full recipe. Their’s just can’t be better than yours!  Sorry friends!} 

Now the infamous Slush recipe hangs proudly in our Kitchen for all to see….hence the reason to why Adam now “gives it out.” Last Christmas we received our favorite, favorite, favorite Christmas gift from Adam’s parents. They know how much we both love incorporating our family’s traditions into our Christmas and what a big part of our FaLaLaLa Fett Christmas Slush as become.

Together they made a frame for the original, hand written Slush recipe by Adam’s Grandmother, who is no longer with us. The frame has a little wire basket attached with some of his Family’s favorite holiday recipes and extra cards for us to add some of my family’s and recipes we create together.

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I absolutely love it. 

Now when friends ask about it, we jokingly say we don’t give it out. If they happen to notice the recipe hanging they are more than welcome to take a picture, but Adam doesn’t go into detail about how its made, what all exactly is in it and how to make it just perfect.

Cheers!

Day Eight is for eclectic. 

I’d like to think our holiday decor is somewhat eclectic. The artificial tree is more funky, free spirited, glitz and glitter, while the real tree is more antique, filled with old fashion Santas and old wooden toy ornaments. All the other decor in the house goes along with those two themes.

Of course ANYTHING I see with “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas,” Happy HOLLYdays,” or something about Holly in general I just have to have. We basically have a little Santa’s Workshop in Atlanta, GA. Adam may or may not love it…

One decoration that I absolutely love and I know he appreciates too is my antique ceramic tree. While these are all the rage now popping up in Vintage stores or replicas  in big box stores, mine is truly a priceless antique.

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Like most of our favorite things on this year’s countdown, a ceramic tree was something I grew up with. My Mom had one she purchased her first married Christmas, I believe. Someone at the school she taught at handmade them. Our green ceramic tree covered in tiny multicolored lights always sat on our entry way table for all to see. It was always my favorite thing to put up when our family came together to decorate the house for the holidays. To this day, it is still one of the “jobs” I help Mom with when I come over.

Two years ago, right around Christmas, my 100+ year old Great-Grandmother Gran passed away.  She left behind a ceramic tree, similar to my Mom’s for me. It is the first decoration to go up. The last one to come down and of course it’s home is on the entry way table. She is dusted with snow and adorned with miniature pink lights. She is perfect.

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Does your home have one theme for Christmas decorations or is it more eclectic? Do you have one favorite piece? The Christmas Season is our most favorite time of the year. We love our stories, but would love to hear yours too. What makes your house feel like a home over Christmas? What makes your heart the most joyful this time of year?

We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

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Cheers and Merry Christmas!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts!